Over the past two years we have been inundated with reports on how the workplace is filled with four different generations for the first time in history. While these reports and their findings are valuable, as a leader it is important to know what you can do to ensure that your workplace is functioning at its highest, even with generational differences. A recent article on GoliathJobs.com featured a best practices article for “Managing the Aging Workforce.” In the article, they discuss how to effectively lead a multigenerational workforce. Highlights from the article include:
Study generational composition of your workforce.
Take a census of your workforce, learn their similarities, differences, and what motivates each group.
Prepare a workforce forecast.
Succession planning. Look at the competencies of your current workforce and do a side-by-side comparison according to the workforce you think you’ll need in three to five years. Look at what changes need to be made and plan accordingly.
Train managers and supervisors about intergenerational differences and issues.
Differences among the generations exist and it is critical that their supervisors are cognizant of this. While they must remain fair in all work-related actions, it is important that they are sensitive to the emotional and cognitive differences of their workforce.
Match HR policies to the needs of the workforce.
Make sure that your HR policies are current and relevant to the needs of the company and the workforce. As your workplace changes, your policies will need to as well in order to be aligned with company objectives.
Include all generations on committees and task groups
By selecting members from each generation in your workforce to lead committees or groups allows each generation a voice and the ability to help shape and/or influence certain company directives.
Companies will need to be proactive in managing their multigenerational workforce in order to preserve productivity, accord, and overall employee satisfaction. This may be the first time that the workplace has been presented with leading an employee base made up of four different generations, but it is also an opportunity for organizations to renovate their traditional management practices in order to understand what steps they can take in order to inspire greater efficiency out of their employees.